Santa Fe is a city of incredible vistas, unique attractions, and unexpected places to explore. While you’re discovering this city, you’re going to get pretty hungry. For that, I’ve put together my list of the 12 Best Restaurants in Santa Fe for families.
Family-friendly Santa Fe Restaurants
Santa Fe is one of the best places in America to enjoy authentic New Mexican food.
New Mexican cuisine is distinct from Mexican cuisine, adhering more to it’s Native American roots and incorporating culinary influences from the Spanish settlers who came to the area in the 16th century. Native American ingredients like blue corn and squash, as well as Spanish ingredients like chile peppers and pork feature heavily, along with cheese and beans. (While Mexican food tends to use different spices, salsas, grilled meats, etc.)
Must-try foods include sopaipillas, enchiladas, New Mexican tacos, posole, green chile stew, and of course, fry bread!
These highly recommended spots are sure to fill your fellow travelers up and give everyone some down time to recharge for the next adventure.
Try them on your next trip!
Although Santa Fe might not seem like the place to try authentic Japanese dishes, the Izanami Restaurant at Ten Thousand Waves is a must try. The small plates and dishes come from the kitchen when they’re ready, encouraging you to savor, taste, and slow down. https://tenthousandwaves.com/food
The kids, ok everyone, will love the vintage games on every table at Back Road Pizza. Split a pizza topped with local flavor combinations and relax as everyone unwinds for the evening. https://backroadpizza.com/
Whether you visit the Tune Up Café for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it will be obvious why it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. The food is not only an incredible value – it’s fantastic! No one will leave hungry as you enjoy regional food or more standard fare in a family-friendly atmosphere. Check out their menu here.
Tia Sophia’s is a Santa Fe standout that you shouldn’t miss when you visit. Choose from their authentic dishes seasoned with their famous red and green “Christmas” chilies, to something more mainstream. The kids’ menu gives littler travelers lots of options for choosing their dish of the day.
If you like to choose restaurants based on recommendations, it’s hard to top The Shed. This award-winning restaurant keeps things simple but tasty, from the oldest to the youngest visitors. This family-owned restaurant grinds their straight-from-the-farm chilies, so you know they’re amazing.
Part butcher shop, part restaurant, Dr. Field Goods does meat right no matter how you slice it (pun intended!). Experience local flavors in classic dishes combined with proteins you know are fresh. This farm-to-table restaurant will have you coming back again!
Nestled inside the cool adobe structure, Café Pasqual’s kitchen turns out authentic Santa Fe food while the walls share the craft of local artists. Check out the local art while you wait for your unique local dishes to arrive. Locals and travelers alike rave about Café Pasqual’s.
Whether you’re a chocolate fanatic or not, don’t miss the Kakawa Chocolate House. Designed to share chocolate the way it has been enjoyed in Central American for thousands of years, you’ll never experience chocolate like this again. Try their chocolates or their chocolate elixirs, sure to cure what ails you. Check out their site here.
Like other places on the list, Jambo Café got major recognition when it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Chef Obo describes the food as African-Caribbean fusion, and he’s been making award-winning meals there for nearly twenty years.
El Parasol’s specializes in Northern New Mexico or traditional Mexican food, and they’re pretty good at making it. Their tacos are some of the best in the country! With locations in Santa Fe and moving north towards Los Alamos and Pojoaque, you can visit no matter where your travels take you. Check out their main site here.
I really enjoyed El Meson. We didn’t make a reservation so we sat at the bar, which was great because the atmosphere here is lively and fun. The food was delicious and perfect for sharing and trying a bunch of different things. El Meson offers small plate tapas and has live entertainment nightly! On Tango Tuesdays they open up the floor for patrons to dance. Check out their site here.
Blue Corn Cafe was perfect for sampling authentic New Mexican food – I tried a platter of enchiladas, tacos, beans and rice, and of course both red and green sauces. The margaritas were awesome and even got the stamp of approval from my friend Stacey who is a tequila aficionado. They also have hand-crafted beers and an awesome patio.
These are my absolute favorite spots to eat in Santa Fe – which will be your first stop on your trip? Do you have any amazing Santa Fe restaurants I should add?
For some Santa Fe-inspired food you can make at home, check out our Santa Fe Breakfast Skillet recipe.